Wednesday, October 3, 2012

A Sukkah in My Backyard

My backyard neighbor is no doubt rolling her eyes. From her perspective, all she sees are four colorful sheets flapping in the breeze. What's wrong with that, you say? Well, they aren't on my clothesline. They're draped around our back porch.
As I look out from my back door, however, I see something much different. I see a table and chairs, a porch swing and festive tinsel sparkling in the sunlight. My back porch has been transformed into a sukkah.
For eight nights here in the US I partake in the festival of Sukkot, or the Feast of Tabernacles. It's like a campout.
Since it's just hubby and I, and he works late during this time of year, it's a quiet affair. We eat our dinner in our sukkah. Because we share our backyard with critters - skunks, racoons, possums and such, it's not a good idea to sleep outside. I don't mind a kitty at my feet, but a pole kitty? Nope.
Now if we were in Israel, it would be a whole different story.
I love being there during this time of the year. During the day in the Old City of Jerusalem, kids are making and selling cotton candy, small bands of musicians are singing, people are dancing. Celebration is everywhere.
In cities and towns all over the land, sukkot are shining with twinkle lights, children are singing, people are carrying large pots of food to their neighbor's booths. Its considered a great blessing to share your hospitality with others, especially strangers.
I miss being part of a close knit community. Where I live, everyone keeps to themselves. Everyone is busy. No one would dare to show up unannounced at someone's house, even with a big pot of food. We just don't do that.
All that said, I am enjoying my sukkah. It's cozy and inviting. I love sitting in the glow of a small lamp, listening to the evening quiet, sharing dinner with my husband. It's simple.
My gift to you this Sukkot is a blessing and a song ~

Ba-ruch a-ta Adonai, Eh-lo-hei-nu

Meh-lech ha-olam,

she-heh-kheh-ya-nu v’kee-yeh-mah-nu
v’hee-gee-ah-nu lah-z’mahn ha-zeh.

We praise You, Eternal God, Sovereign of the Universe, for giving us life, for sustaining us and for enabling us to reach this season.
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